How to Convert a Speaker Wire to an RCA Male Plug

By Blaze Johnson

RCA cables are a popular means to transmit audio signals between home theater and car audio components. Instead of purchasing a new set of cables, you can purchase four male RCA connectors and utilize speaker wire to make your own set. Two of the male connectors will need to be white while the other two will need to be red so that you can differentiate between the left and right channel audio signals. Each RCA plug utilizes a pair of speaker wires. The outer terminal ring uses the negative speaker wire and the center pin uses the speaker positive wire.

Things You'll Need

  • Two cut sets of speaker wire
  • Two white male RCA plugs
  • Two red male RCA plugs
  • Wire cutters
  • Soldering iron
  • Solder
  • Multi-meter

Step 1

Plug in the soldering iron to allow it to heat up to the proper temperature. Be sure to set the soldering iron in a safe place, away from flammable materials to avoid injury or damage to your work area.

Step 2

Cut the desired lengths of speaker wire with a pair of wire cutters. Strip 1/4 inch of insulation off each end of the speaker wires. Pull off or unscrew the color-coded insulating caps from the RCA plugs. Feed a pair of speaker wires though one of the red RCA plug insulators and make sure that the larger screw-in portion is facing the stripped off portion of the speaker wires.

Step 3

Solder the positive speaker wire to the pin connection of the RCA plug. You may want to feed the positive wire through the small eyelet and preheat the soldering point with the soldering iron before applying the solder to the speaker wire for the best results. Allow the RCA connector to cool before soldering the negative speaker wire to the RCA plug’s outside ring connection.

Step 4

Move the RCA plug’s red insulator up the speaker wire towards the soldered RCA plug and screw it in carefully. Keep the speaker wires from twisting inside the insulator to avoid damage to the soldered connections.

Step 5

Perform the same steps to attach the other red RCA connection on the remaining stripped-off negative and positive ends of the same speaker wires. Use the same methods to attach the white male RCA plugs to another set of speaker wires to complete the job.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use a digital multi-meter and set it to continuity mode. Use the multi-meter’s negative and positive probes and check between the corresponding RCA plug connections for each set to check for shorts in the wiring. Any continuity between the negative and positive connections of a RCA plug will indicate a problem.